• Lot 287

    Asger Jorn (DANISH, 1914-1973)


    Price Realised  


    Asger Jorn (DANISH, 1914-1973)
    signed and dated 'Asger 40' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    60 x 74 cm.

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    Just before the war broke out in 1940, Jorn returned from Paris to Denmark. Denmark was occupied by Germany for the coming five years. Jorn remained in his country of birth during this whole period and, like many other Danish painters, he was active in the underground resistance against the Germans. During this period he was cofounder of the magazine Helhesten (Hell Horse), which later inspired such publications as Reflex in the Netherlands and the international CoBrA magazine (where Jorn also would become one of the dominating forces) with a mix of art, literature, film, ethnography, archeology etcetera. Jorn was a leading contributor to the culture debate created by Helhesten. The first issue included an obituary of the painter Paul Klee whose entartete pictures had been destroyed in Germany.

    Jean Dubuffet wrote in 1981 about Jorn and his work: "Turmoil was his element, he was a nimble fish in that water. Some of his enterprises which he happened to mention to me during our meetings struck me as nebulous, but they later made sense in the heat of action. He was skilled at producing sense out of original chaos. In all his activities the same principle applied as in his work: thought sprang out of action, not the other way round. So his paintings took shape out of a violent disorder and incoherence. He excelled at producing a meaning during the course of creation - being careful not to intervene too much, so as not to lose anything of the spontaneous flow. He liked to keep 'meaning' speculative. He was in love with the irrational which, in all his works, he continually faced."
    (in: Guy Atkins, Asger Jorn. Supplement: Paintings 1930-1973, London 1986, p.15)

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    Thorkild Hansen, Copenhagen.
    Vagn Leger, Malmö.


    Guy Atkins, Jorn in Scandinavia 1930-1953, London 1968, p. 143, fig. 125 (ill.) and p. 330, cat.no. 134 (ill.)